Travel theme: Gardens

My visit to the Giardino degli Aranci got me pondering the subject of gardens. There were no flower beds or herbaceous borders in that gentle garden on the Aventine, but there was an intimacy and charm within those walls that made it feel like a sanctuary. Perhaps that is really the essence of what a garden is; a place to lose yourself or find yourself or just be. The word ‘garden’ derives from an ancient term, gard, referring to an enclosed space. There are traces of its ancient etymology in place names such as Stuttgart in Germany, Graz in Austria and Borujerd in Iran.

A love of gardening runs deep in me. Wherever I go, I find some small way to garden; growing tomatoes and the hottest of chili peppers on a windowsill, gathering seeds and propagating cuttings, adding a border to a friend’s garden. I love the smell and feel of earth and marvel at the sight of a new seedling rushing towards daylight. On my travels I seek out gardens to wander through, so here are a few gardens I have visited along the way.

It’s no secret I am in love with the work of Piet Oudolf and the romance of prairie planting, with feathery grasses and dried seedheads creating the most achingly delicate winterscapes. I spent many a winter’s day wandering through his garden creations in New York’s Battery and High Line parks.

piet oudolf, battery park, new york, prairie planting, seed heads, travel, travelogue, photography, nature, ailsa prideaux-mooney

I remember the serenity of the Zen Garden in Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve

bloedel reserve, seattle, bainbridge island, garden, gardens, rain, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, zen garden

… the lush simplicity of a tiny bottle garden at the US Botanic Gardens in Washington DC…

botanic gardens, washington dc, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…the playfulness of cottage gardens in the Hamptons…

hamptons, long island, new york, travel, travelogue, gardens, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…and the drama of exotic gardens in Guatemala, where I saw the gasp-inducing Jade flower for the very first time.

antigua, guatemala, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, jade flower

Get your green thumbs at the ready for your interpretation of this week’s theme. If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Gardens
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Lead me down the garden path!

xxx Ailsa

Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you. – Richard Brinsley Sheridan

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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142 Responses to Travel theme: Gardens

  1. ideflex says:

    Fantastic photos that make me ache for spring…

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  8. Y. Prior says:

    Well I am in for this week too. How fun to have a garden theme – and I enjoyed all of your photos in this post – especially the first photo – the tone is amazing -not quite sepia – and then has hints of maroon – and the angle – and that is a really unique shot.
    and the other one I really loved was the bottle garden –
    but what a fun variety of pics. 🙂 ~y.

    http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/travel-theme-gardens-victor-hugo-quote/

  9. As a gardener I thoroughly enjoyed this theme – bias will always out itself! And onw day I will get to visit the high line. …

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  12. Cee Neuner says:

    Your gardens are beautiful Debbie!!
    Here is my entry for this week!
    http://wp.me/p3ZTqs-Kk

  13. Pingback: Travel theme: Gardens | Wandering Iris

  14. You have a nice array of photos for this post, I especially like the Zen Garden.
    Here is my entry for this week
    http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/travel-theme-gardens/

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  18. loganbruin says:

    My mother would kill for that jade flower. . . so I better not show her.
    Here’s mine: https://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-gardens-2/

  19. jillscene says:

    Hi Ailsa, Your post got me thinking about the gardens I’ve visited. Some only once, others many times. And it got me writing, too! And so for the first time, but maybe not the last, here’s my response to the challenge
    http://jillscene.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/travel-theme-gardens/

    Thank-you for the inspiration.

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  21. I absolutely love that first photo, beautiful for a winter day. I’m looking toward Spring with my photo:http://wp.me/p2owKx-Bz
    Cheers!

  22. Gorgeous garden photos. I pinned the last photo of the blue/green flowers on my Pinterest page entitled “Flowers as Art.” http://www.pinterest.com/gaylealstrom/flowers-as-art/ I hope you don’t mind.

  23. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gardens | Something for Pok

  24. cyardin says:

    Great theme this week Ailsa. I too love the New York City High Line park, and I have been reading that there are plans to extend it. I love the zen garden, though it always puzzles me how they place those big rocks down without ruining the gravel…

    Here is my late post for this week’s theme.
    http://christopheryardin.com/2014/03/20/travel-theme-gardens/

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  29. The Jade Flower! You are right … GASP!

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